Today’s guest blogger for VetGirl is Susan Payton. She writes for ScheduleBase, an online employee scheduling software with mobile apps that is taking headaches away from business owners, one employee at a time.

8 Tools to Help You Run Your Vet Practice
In veterinary school, they don’t often tell you that running your own practice means you’ll be time impoverished and constantly dividing your time between seeing furry patients and managing admin. It’s a lot to juggle, even for the savviest of multitaskers.

Fortunately, technology has come up with helpful tools to make the process of managing it all easier.

1. Contact Relationship Management Software
Also known as CRM, this software can help you stay on top of which patients are due for their next exam or shots, as well as house important customer data. If Fido freaks out when he sees your tech, Jen, you can see this note and make sure she’s elsewhere when he comes in. Insightly is a great (and free) CRM option that lets you store contact information, notes, and files.

2. Email Marketing Platform
If you’re like many vets, marketing takes a back burner to other activities. And yet, it’s the one thing you should be doing to continually attract new business. Keep it simple: use email marketing services like MailChimp to stay in touch with your clients (at least, the human ones). You can send a monthly newsletter with useful articles, or reminders when it’s time to schedule an appointment.

3. Employee Scheduling Software
Depending on how big your practice is, you might have several techs, receptionists, and other employees whose schedules you’ve got to manage. Rather than wasting time making up a paper schedule, take advantage of technology. Software like ScheduleBase lets you view staff availability and create a schedule online or on your phone, which you can then email or text to your employees.

4. Merchant Services Software
Accepting credit cards is a necessity, but your only option isn’t those clunky card swipers. Look at sleeker options like Square, that lets you swipe a card on a tablet or phone, without the extra cost of maintaining the old school equipment. Fees per transaction tend to be lower with these next-gen payment processing solutions.

5. Cloud Server
If you’ve ever invested in a physical server to back up your data, you’ll appreciate not having to invest in physical hardware to make sure your data is safe. Now, cloud servers like DropBox let you back up important files and information as well as share it with others by logging into your account online. No equipment needed.

6. Word Processing Suite
Cloud-based Google Drive is giving Microsoft Office a run for its money by offering free word processing documents, spreadsheets, forms, and presentations that you can access from any computing device. The best part? You can share documents with your staff rather than email them, and everyone can make changes to the same online doc.

7. Practice Management Software
Humans aren’t the only patients whose files are going digital. With veterinary practice management software like DVMAX, you can log patient files, schedule appointments, and send notifications.

8. Accounting Software
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to cloud-based accounting software these days. Choose the program that offers the features that fit your needs best. QuickBooks has an online version that allows you to print invoices and enter payments, as well as track expenses, pay your staff, and file tax documents.

If there’s a tool or software program that will save you time and money, try it out! Many companies offer a free trial to give you a chance to learn the software. And many are totally free, or offer low-cost packages that are perfect for your practice’s small budget.